Browser extension security -- ad injections, malware
June 20, 2014 7:13 AM   Subscribe

I get conflicted information about the browser extensions/add-ons Awesome Screenshot and Hover-Zoom. My university community uses browser extensions/add-ons extensively, in particular, Awesome Screenshot across Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Concerns?

The trend in browser extensions/add-ons behaving badly 1, 2, 3


1) Should I have Awesome screenshot and Hoverzoom removed from all browsers for the community?

Awesome Screenshot for Firefox "Discover Similar Sites" and "Price Comparison While You Shop." These are value-added features, and definitely are not "Malware" or "Adware" as some may mistakenly believe. Please also note that these features are disabled by default unless you enable them."

For Chrome:
【Optional search enhancement feature】
Since many users don't like it, we remove this feature.
[Updated privacy policy] Usage of the Awesome Screenshot browser extension requires granting it permission to capture anonymized click stream data. No personally identifying information will be captured in connection with this data.

Chrome permissions that I cannot alter -- Access to your data on all website; Access your tabs and browsing activity and capture content of your screen

Safari: I have this article and a faculty person with "price match" ads on her NEW Macbook Air.

2) What is the process to being sure that the browser add-ons/extensions are not dodgy? As you see, Awesome Screenshot has spectacular reviews and so did Hover Zoom.

3) List of add-ons/extensions that you trust.
posted by jadepearl to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would call that 'dodgy' for sure.

Screenshot is built-in in Firefox Dev tools. What does that addon do that is so awesome for your users? Creating a new addon that does that might be worthwhile for us to do semi-officially :)

me: Mozilla employee, with a lot of personal anger about nasty addons.

memail me with details if you like!
posted by gregglind at 12:25 PM on June 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

gregglind, I have memailed you with details. In any case, the solution to hoverzoom was replaced by Thumbnail Zoom Plus, which seems to be quite effective and transparent.
posted by jadepearl at 1:39 PM on June 21, 2014

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